Of all the easy landlord forms you use in your rental business, a move in checklist just may be the most economical.
This simple landlord form, if used effectively, does what matters most — saves you money.
Here are 3 ways you will save:
1. A move in report reveals any repairs that need to be made. That way, a tiny tear or leak doesn’t become a major drain on your repair budget. Incidentally, the condition of the property at turnaround time also let’s you know if your maintenance team is doing its job. You also save by catching problems left by vendors while the trail is fresh, and the work still under warranty.
2. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you involve the tenant in the leasing process, the more you save money. If you encourage the new tenant to add notes to the move-in checklist after they moved in, you gain something rare and valuable — their trust. With that buy-in, the tenant is far more likely to keep the place clean and damage-free. A tenant’s top priority is to get their entire security deposit back. They need to believe that will happen. When they do, they will take better care of the property, and that means you get your unit back in good condition, ready to earn you more money. It’s a win-win. Working alongside your tenants is the best way to accomplish this.
3. The move in report will reveal any damage the last tenant hid during the move out walk-through. This is particularly important because security deposit deductions must be made in a timely fashion. If you miss something, it’s best to find out early, before the former tenant is too far gone — and you get stuck paying out-of-pocket for repairs.
To make the most of this useful landlord tool, be sure to:
Use the same form for the move in, any inspections, the move out, and again each time you get a new tenant, so you are comparing apples to apples.
Choose a good form to start with, like the Move In/Out Checklist available on our easy Landlord Forms page.
Supplement the form with photos or videos to paint a clear picture in case of a dispute. That’s when you will find out just how hard it is to remember these details from year to year.
Have the tenants walk along with you, and sign the forms. Allow tenants to make notes. If they’ve had every opportunity to weigh in, it’s less likely there will be disputes over the condition of the property or security deposit deductions — and that saves both time and money!
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for all your property management needs. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.